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 Zhang Dawo  (1943 - )

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Lived/Active: China/Australia      Known for: abstract painting, photography, calligraphy

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

The following information is provided by Mary Yu, a private collector.
Born in 1943, Beijing/Australian calligrapher and visual artist of abstract expressionism, Zhang Dawo is known for his many facets of art including photography. His work is represented in many national and international public, corporate and private collections, notably, Rupert Murdoch and Lehman Brothers.

Dawo's artistic nature is deeply rooted in the ancient culture of Jin-Shi, which is artistic etching and engraving of symbols and writing on metal and stone - 4 000 BC. At the same time he has a fiery ambition of pushing the frontier of contemporary art.

For the first 40 years of his life he totally immersed himself in traditional forms. Since 1982, he has overcome the classical barrier, by moving from the two dimensional into the three dimensional, a visual revolution made largely possible by the rearrangement of the spatial construction and the use of different tones of ink on special calligraphic paper. An example of this modern calligraphy is 'Ce' (Volume) which is considered as being "in the period of present day Chinese art renaissance, unique and one of the most creative pieces of work" (Zhang CH Voice outside the main stream in Zhang, D. (Ed.) 2004 Dawo Miaomo –Calligraphic Art: Re-Creating the Pleasure, Insecurity and Excitement Encountered in Dreams.  Devil Art Studio. 155 pp. ISBN 0-9756029-0-X

After 1990 Dawo's work crossed the boundary of modern calligraphy into modern art pushing its frontier with the ink medium. 'Dawo Miaomo', his own exclusive artwork, has completely moved away from the recognizable characters. It is "a form of unique eastern abstract art with unsurpassable quality"; the style is "free and fluid", graceful and vivid: a forceful expression of romanticism and mysticism of the Oriental.

A good example is the Dragon's Resplendence' one of the five  pieces of his work included in the collection of the British Museum.  The exhibition, "Brushes with Surprise’ the Art of Calligraphy in modern China", has been organized by this Museum.  All the leading Chinese calligraphers, fifty in all, of the past half century are represented, including Mao Zedong. 

Dawo, one of the 25 living calligraphers, has been featured as the leading avant-garde in this exhibition.  His most recent work is represented by the  Chugan, sensuous touch of brush on paper) series and Stroke Movement is the key factor, which drove the transformation from calligraphy to abstract art.

Dawo is a member of the Association of Chinese Calligraphers and the Committee member of the Society of Modern Calligraphy and Painting (China).  He is the founder of the Australian Society of East-West Art, Writing and Modeling and co-founder of the studio 'Devil Art'

Major exhibitions:

 Paris (Lydie ]), Modern Artists Gallery

 Beijing, China Art Gallery. Exhibition of Chinese and Japanese calligrapher

Nanjing, Zhejiang Academy of Arts. Contemporary Chinese Calligraphers

Launceston, Australia Queen Victoria Museum
City of Clarence, Australia,  Art Museum
Beijing, Molan Gallery

Shenzhen, China Shenzhen Museum

London, Charles Dickson Museum
Rochester,  UK, Thomas Hardy Memorial Hall

Darwin-Beijing cultural exchange, Museum of Darwin
Nanjing, China Modern Calligraphy Leading Calligraphers Invitation Exhibition.

Hangzhou, China First Modern Calligraphy International Biannual Exhibition
Beijing, in memory of Tenth Anniversary Chinese Modern Calligraphy Inception, sponsored by German Embassy

Launceston, Victoria and Tasmania Gallery Collaboration 1996 (5 galleries); 'An Australian Collection' Melbourne, The Fifth Australian Contemporary Art Fair.

Kuala Lumpur, 4th International Chinese Calligraphy Exchange and Exhibition, represented Australia.

Beijing, German Embassy, Selection of Contemporary Art Exhibition sponsored by VW German car company

Cengdu China, Bashu Parade, Retrospective of Chinese Modern Calligraphy at the end of the 20th Century        
Cengdu China, At the New Century 1979-1999 Selection of China Contemporary Art's Works.
Taipei, Taiwan, The Fifth International Chinese Calligraphy Exchange Exhibition, represented Australia.

Beijing, Design Museum, Environment Protection Volunteers Artwork Exhibition at the Turn of the Century

Melbourne, The Seventh Australian Contemporary Art Fair.
London, The British Museum, ‘Brushes with surprise’ the art of calligraphy in modern China

Shengzheng, Third international biannual Shuimo invitation exhibition Beijing, UN Aids awareness invitation exhibition
Blue Mountain, Australia, Kedumba art Gallery
Nanjing, China. Invitation Exhibition.

Hong Kong. Art Commune, Contemporary art exhibition: The New Experience in Hanzi and Calligraphy Writing last 20 Years.

Hangzhou Chinese Institute of Art, International Exhibition of Modern Calligraphy.
Seoul International Modern Calligraphy biannual exhibition- 60 famous artist invitation show
Seoel Korea International Art Fair
Beijing ‘Meili Zhongguo Abstract art exhibition
Beijing Beijing World Art Museum, The China Millennium Monument
‘Dawo Miaomo’ Australian artist Zhang Dawo selective abstract Shuimo exhibition
Singapore Artsingapore Expo 2007
Beijing Creation Art Gallery, ‘Dawo Miaomo’ Zhang Dawo wash and ink solo exhibition
Beijing Shang Shang International Art Gallery
Shang Shang First International Annual Modern Art Exhibition
Beijing China National Huayuan Art Gallery , 21st Century Suimo Academia Invitation Exhibition
Hangzhou China  International Calligraphic art exhibition
Liverpool UK Flow of the Brush, sponsored by the British Museum

Beijing Qielu Art Gallery. 'The Solo Dance' Dawo Chugan series exhibition
Tienjing Art Gallery of the Tienjing Institute of Art. 'Calligraphy Awareness' -  International Contemporary Art Exhibition.
Beijing Huantie Art Gallery.'Art without Form-Dawo Chugan series exhibition   
Italy Sino-Italie Contemporary Art Museum. 
'Shuimo China - Culture Exchange Exhibition.

Badbarden Badbarden Art Gallery.  Germany First International Calligraphy Art Exhibition
Milan Biannual Exhibition
Beijing Dezi Art Gallery. 'Dance to the ink rhythm. Dawo solo exhibition.
Ningbo The Art Gallery. Shuimo Excellence Ten selective exhibition.

Seoul Korea, International Calligraphy Invitation Exhibition,
Hong Kong First Contemporary Art Fair,
Qingdao China Tiantai Gallery, Contemporary ink and wash Art Invitational Exhibition, ‘Change’

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